And thus I proffer the much anticipated, highly touted shoegasm line-up.
Guess the best way to start the pageantry is to give you from left to right the Disney Princesses that inspired each shoe: Belle (from Beauty and the Beast), Rapunzel (from Tangled), Ariel (from The Little Mermaid), Snow White (from – you guessed it- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Jasmine (from Aladdin), Tiana (from the Princess and the Frog), Mulan (from…Mulan), Pocahontas (from, well, Pocahontas), Cinderella (from Birds and Talking Mice Are Fashion Designers Too – aka Cinderella), and Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty).
Belle was the first shoe I designed way back in November. For a color scheme, I figured a little Midas Touch made sense to match her iconic dress, and I thought the midnight blue lining served as a nice contrast in tone and color to make each hue pop just a little more. The rose was a major theme for the character, but I wanted a more modern, graphic interpretation of the fateful petal package and the rose pattern ended up looking fairly similar to the floral motif on my wedding dress. I’ve personally always coveted shoes covered in glitter and I figured a pointy toe box would give Belle a sexier, powerful vibe- and if the Beast got clumsy while they were dancing, the extra length might save some of her toes.
The art in Tangled is stunning, and Rapunzel is daring and fun. I made a fabric pattern from a sketch inspired by a whimsical combo of henna designs and her tower doodles. Planned to have each strap braided like her long hair, but it looked bulky, so I improvised by having the braids edge the straps and add some pop with piping. The lilac and baby pink of Rapunzel’s dress in Tangled is gorgeous with the rest of the film, and classically princess-ish. But, that was too cutesy a palette for a stiletto, so I riched it up going instead for gold, mulberry, and lavender. The corset detail on the back of the heel was meant to be a more literal translation from her dress, but actually ended up being kind of sassy in a shoe bondage-y kind of way.
Ariel is my kindred spirit, and The Little Mermaid was the first movie I remember seeing in theaters (the lasting memory being that gigundous bloatapus Ursula getting skewered by a splintered spear of prow, and the driving wish that through some reverse fairy tale business -watch and you’ll see, someday I’ll be- transformed into a mermaid). I figured now that Ariel earned her gams, she needed a hot shoe to celebrate walkdom and sandals would be appropriate to her beachy beginnings. Gave her some sea friends to adorn her t-strap and some bubble bling. That shimmery pattern is a blatant homage and I made the whole pattern from scratch- building scale by scale and adding an iridescence in key places, a labor of love for my favorite princess.
Being the princess and the film that started it all- Snow White’s shoe had to represent. I feel like a traitor, but as a princess, she’s not my top choice. There’s something about the octave of her voice and the odd way all her lines sound like questions that didn’t make me want to run away to the woods and aspire to live platonically with seven vertically challenged dudes. Having woodsy critters help out with daily chores, and love’s first kiss as an alarm clock – that, I can get on board with. I made her shoe influenced by pin-up, with a soaring heel but a lady like bow. The colors and details were pulled from her movie outfit and I made the pattern of flowers and forest friends. The fairest shoe of them all? That’s between you and your magic mirror to decide.
I thought Jasmine should have a wedge (albeit a towering one) because she’s the jump-off-roofs type and this allows her to look fabulous and be Jasmine Bourne at the same time. Since she is from Morocco, I used an oil painting I made last year of a Moroccan window as a pattern, adapting it to that luscious tone of teal – and the texture of the painting happily made the shoe look suede and soft. I studded the shoe up with some gold rivets for sparkle and a little edge and added that feed-a-small-country gem from her headband to the zipper situation (which is an ode to the awesomeness of bevel and emboss in photoshop – how I love thee). Jasmine was slinky and smart and this shoe would turn street rat heads.
I was happier than Augustus Gloop in a chocolate lake when Disney announced they were releasing a new 2D musical feature, and was thoroughly impressed by The Princess and the Frog. Tiana is proud, hardworking, and vigilantly elegant – even as an amphibian. Since the film is set in Louisiana there’s a french influence and I wanted to incorporate that into her shoe with the lace I created – a modified fleur-de-lis shape made out of veined leaves repeated and overlapped to make up the body of the straps and the detail on the wedge. Tiana’s princess dress has a water lily on it and sparkles like fireflies – the phosphorescent bug illusion was skipped on my shoe, but she’s got not one, but three lilies festooning her frog-fluenced footwear.
Mulan’s shoe posed an interesting challenge in that her character has as many sides as Harvey Dent. Destined to save dad (oh, and China) Mulan shows Sampson how it should have gone gaining pride and power in lobbing off her hair and goes commando…by joining the army. I split her roles on each side of the shoe, choosing to armor the heel in a hammered studded metal for her Ping (aka dude) end and echo the material choice with a metal dragon embellishment inspired by Chinese paper cut outs. I also added the softer-side-of-she with the fabric cherry blossoms for her traditional lady look. The shoe is lined with a bamboo graphic I made special for the Chinese chica, but you can’t really tell, and that…is how the fortune cookie crumbles.
Pocahontas shoe for all perceived and practical purposes should be a flat. But, when it comes to me and shoes, practicality is rarely a factor. You haven’t lived till you’ve experienced the fashion glory of a heel so high your blisters bleed into your shoe. Perhaps the most literal of the shoe interpretations, Harkyparkus (that’s what I call her, not sure why…is it hoo-doo pig latin?) has her mother’s turquoise necklace as a detail across the back of the heel, a smidgen of nature being all charming on her buckle and the colors of the wind blowing up the bootie’s stitched side. This shoe is full of textures, natural and man made which I thought was cleverly symbolic.
Who says men don’t notice what you’re wearing on your feet? Landed Cinderella a title from Charming and changed her scullery existence. Whole movie revolves around it, and it’s also the most iconic existing footwear of fragile fate associated with a Disney Princess, so game on. I chose maybe the safest and most classic shoe silhouette for Cinderella, letting the details and the over the top elements be the star of the design. I made three different shades of blue gems and accent pearls and covered the whole shoe in their splendor. If this shoe series was ever made in real life, these would be the pair that would break the bank- you wouldn’t want to lose this baby – even to snag royalty.
I hate to say it, but the coolest character in Sleeping Beauty is definitely not the title character. Maleficent is Queen of the Villainesses with her calculated coolness and even Prince Phillip’s horse has more depth than Aurora. As a younger me, I was perfectly content to support the princess’s all-looks-and-no-life, but doing her shoe now, I took the opportunity to give more edge to her interpretation. I adore the angular stylings of the movie, so she got a sharp pointed toe, but her shoe pattern was influenced heavily by tattoo designs. The bold outlines of the briar roses (ha HA) actually fit quite well to the movie’s visuals, and she’ll grab some attention with the bold rose on the heel as she waltzes through her once upon a time.
Well there it is floggers, the fruits of the last three months: Princess inspired shoes, with Disney sole.
All characters (c) Disney, artwork and designs (c) becsketch.